J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Boat Taking in Sail c.1822-3

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 20 Recto
Boat Taking in Sail c.1822–3
Turner Bequest CCII 20
Watercolour on paper, 257 x 178 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘20’ bottom right
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCII–20’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
In this quickly wrought colour sketch Turner depicts the lowering of sails from the mast of a small boat. Alexander Finberg suggests that this is may be a preparatory drawing for the Mouth of the Humber in the Rivers of England series (Tate D18151; Turner Bequest CCVIII R).1 There is also a possible preparatory sketch for this watercolour of about 1822 to 1823 (Tate D17765; Turner Bequest CCIII H).
Turner’s distinct economy of means and minimal palette of blue, ochre and red wash this scene is skilfully yet simply rendered, evoking the atmosphere of the sailors’ tranquil passage at sea.
Finberg 1909, vol.I, p.615.

Alice Rylance-Watson
March 2013

How to cite

Alice Rylance-Watson, ‘Boat Taking in Sail c.1822–3 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, March 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, September 2014, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-boat-taking-in-sail-r1148309, accessed 21 July 2024.